By Graham Addinall for the Autumn Winter 2017 magazine
Mountains and forests clearly get the best version of winter; snow capped peaks, frozen lakes and log cabins are the picture postcard ideal that makes even sub-zero temperatures tolerable. Cities on the other hand have to deal with dirty grey slush, delayed transport and depressed commuters. If you’re an urbanite who hasn’t got the time or inclination to head out to the wilderness, try one of these Alpine-themed bars and restaurants and get a taste of the great outdoors, with the added advantage of not losing your phone coverage and being able to catch a cab home …
This actually is a very classy and well regarded restaurant in Berlin’s Mitte district with a menu taken from Southern Germany and Austria. The room’s decor takes traditional Alpine motifs such as woodpiles and deer heads, but gives them a modern urban twist. It’s a great place to have Weiner schnitzel and sauerkraut, make belief you’re in St Anton but then get a cab to a dive bar rather than a sleigh-ride back to your lodge.
Right on Kensington High Street is this kitschy temple to all things Alpine. Don’t expect subtle sophistication – this is Heidi-World so think gingham tablecloths, hunting horns and lederhosen. But settle down for some fondue, knock back a stein of beer and then party the night away to Die Discotheque that kicks in later on …
2A KENSINGTON HIGH ST
W8 4PT LONDON
Perhaps combining a ski-chalet with a speakeasy isn’t the most natural mix, but that’s just what you get in downtown Manhattan where logic has never really mattered too much. Go to Cafe Select on Lafayette Street and battle your way through the kitchen to the hidden back room for a (tiny) slice of the Tyrol where you can sip an alpine cocktail and dip your bread into more melted cheese. Don’t expect snow boots and bobble hats in summer though – the place changes into an oyster bar in the warmer months.
212 LAFAYETTE ST
10012 NEW YORK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
For maybe the most incongruous way of getting the chills of a winter vacation, step – or maybe slide – into Minus 5 in the Mandalay Resort in Vegas. Outside it might be 45 degrees in the shade, but inside it’s … you guessed it … minus 5. The bar, tables, chairs and even glasses are made of ice, so you don’t have to worry about your gin and tonic getting warm. And you have an excuse to wear your salopettes without the need to zoom down a hill on two bits of wood.
3950 LAS VEGAS BLVD, LAS VEGAS